Long Exposures at Tabletop Reef (2 photos)

I’m close to finishing the culling/editing and processing of my photos from December (three days with photo activities left). Here are two photos from a morning outing to the familiar tide pools at Tabletop Reef.

It was the morning when the “Christmas storm” moved into San Diego County, bringing rain and high elevation snow for the “white Christmas” that I mentioned in previous posts. The conditions seemed to be really nice and I was quite confident that it was a productive morning and I thought I had at least three or four good photos for a blog post.

But, being really honest with myself as I’ve been reviewing the photos and working on them, only the two images below are good enough. And even those two show nothing new. I was really looking for new and different compositions, but none of those that I tried really work. So maybe it’s time to admit that after 6 years of going there, I’ve maybe exhausted what I can see there and turn into a photograph that works for me…

What annoys me the most about the photos are the clouds – they were moving slow, or at least slower than I thought, and at an exposure time of 2 1/2 minutes, the streaks that they form in long exposures aren’t really long enough and blurred enough. Instead of fighting it, I tried to embrace this deficiency by adding more structure to them (hint: Lightroom CC’s “Dehaze” effect used as a local adjustment works really well for that) but the shapes and forms just do not fully satisfy me. I guess an exposure time of four minutes would have been better here.

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3 Responses

  1. FWIW, I like the clouds. The long exposure with moving clouds can be a bit much for me, and they are being overdone these days. Maybe it’s a thing with motion sickness, though. While I love slow shutter effects on water, on skies, it makes me feel a bit physically nauseated.

    1. Interesting! I know that some photographers blend two different exposures sometimes to get well-defined clouds but blurry water.

      To me, it’s a matter of consistency – when I see long exposures (such as these) with totally milky water, and then well-defined clouds, it just doesn’t look convincing…

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